Improving Infirmaries and Community Health Centres

10 Sep, 2013

The CHASE Fund has made a significant contribution to initiatives by Local Government authorities to change the concept of infirmaries for the indigent poor. Many of the facilities, which are operated in parishes across the island, are housed in dilapidated structures that no longer meet the needs of the people they serve; and budgetary constraints have prevented the necessary infrastructure development.

In an effort to improve living conditions for residents in infirmaries and give them a greater sense of respectability, the Fund partnered, in 2004 -2005, with the then Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Sport in a programme to upgrade and rehabilitate facilities.

Beneficiaries of the J$25 million grant from CHASE included the St. James and Westmoreland Infirmaries , where new female residences were constructed; the St. Elizabeth Infirmary, where quarters were built for the Matron who travelled many miles to and from work daily; and the Golden Age Home in Kingston, where security for the aged and physically-challenged residents was enhanced with the construction of a fence and wall. Subsequent new facilities at the Hanover and St. Thomas infirmaries in 2008 benefitted from a J$40 million grant from the CHASE Fund.     

CHASE has also invested millions of dollars for the development of health centres in under-served communities in rural Jamaica and inner-city areas in Kingston thereby relieving the burden on public hospitals.”

Another community health facility which has benefitted from CHASE funding is the Egerton Chinloy/Kiwanis Health Centre in Tivoli Gardens in the western end of Kingston. The facility, which was originally aligned to the Victoria Jubilee and Kingston Public Hospitals, had deteriorated over the years. There was no electricity, water supply was limited and health services were significantly reduced, with a single nurse providing basic care.     ospitalsm

The Centre was rehabilitated and upgraded in 2011 under a J$30.9 million project funded by CHASE; and it now meets the standard of a Type 2 health facility.

The Women’s Resource and Outreach Centre (WROC) – a non-governmental organization which has operated a Family Medical Clinic for residents in the Lyndhurst/Greenwich communities of South St. Andrew for more than 25 years, expanded its services in 2011-2012 to include a skin clinic. Introduction of the new service, through which the high incidence of skin and parasitic infections among patients is being treated, was supported by a grant from the CHASE Fund. The grant also facilitated an accompanying public education programme focusing on issues relating to living standards. This latest intervention brought to J$13.9 million the total funding provided for WROC initiatives by the Fund.